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Cynthia E. Griffin

Stories by Cynthia E.

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Urban teens set to pitch their tech companies

Demo day to be held at USC

URBAN Teens eXploring Technology (TxT) will cap off its 15-week summer program with a free demostrationscheduled Aug 2. from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at USC in Salvatori Computer Science Center Room 101, at 941 Bloom Walk, Los Angeles.

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Skyy Fisher will not resign

Compton official says he is not guilty

Despite protesters Monday once again calling for controversial Compton School Board member Skyy Fisher, 31, to step down from his office as a trustee of the Compton Unified School District, his spokesperson, Jasmyne Cannick, said that the elected official intends to plead not guilty at his incoming arraignment. Additionally, he does not intend to resign, because that would be “jumping the gun,” and Fisher believes he is not guilty of the accusations.

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President signs job training bill

Biden announces overhaul of workforce system

President Barack Obama Tuesday signed bipartisan, bicameral legislation to overhaul America’s job training programs while at the same time Vice President Joe Biden released a report that details how the administration is planning to revamp the federal training programs.

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House committee discusses suing president

Two experts veto idea

Two of three constitutional law experts testifying before the House Rules Committee on July 16 said essentially that the House of Representatives led by Speaker John Boehner has no grounds to sue President Barack Obama for his alleged “failure to act in a manner consistent with his duties under the Constitution and laws of the United States with respect to implementation of (including failure to implement) any provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and title I and subtitle B of title II of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.

Weekend confab connects Blacks in technology

Urban Tech Weekend planned in Houston

After working 16 years in the technology industry, Andrew West has come to realize something critical—the digital divide is a global problem that must be addressed locally. And that is a large part of the motivation that helped him and the National Black Information Technology Leadership Organization (NBITLO) create a three-day event designed to cast a spotlight on Blacks in technology.

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How to grow internationally

Local businesses can learn key tips, resources

The United States Department of Commerce has created websites designed to help Americans do business in Africa and has begun an initiative to tap into the Latin American markets.

Tackling the tech world

#YesWeCode connects minorities, women to Silicon Valley

It may be extremely difficult and perhaps even impossible, as CNN News found out in 2011, to get the data on just how many minorities and women work at Silicon Valley’s top tech companies. But there’s one thing evident, the number is definitely not enough.

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Rally planned to protest CHP actions

Woman seen in video held in hospital

Community activists intend to hold a rally Saturday at noon in Leimert Park to protest “police brutality” in the wake of a widely televised beating involving a woman allegedly walking barefoot on the Santa Monica Freeway (10) on July 1.

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Budding entrepreneurs match wits

NFTE business plan competition targets youth

Students from around the county will participate in the Los Angeles BizCamp Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge July 18, beginning at 9 a.m., and the top three students will split $2,250 in prize money to use to help with their education or launch a business.

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Minority firms to be recognized

Receptions honors three companies

The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Business Center in Los Angeles will host its 19th annual awards reception from 6:30-8:30 p.m. this evening at the City Club.

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LAUSD targets young men of color

Strategies help teachers, students and parents

“Stop doing everything for us; let us struggle some.”

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HIV testing should be part of the dialog

National effort encourages knowing your status

Friday is National HIV/AIDS testing day and what better time to quickly review your HIV IQ.

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Administration eases student-loan debt

Caps repayment at 10 percent of income

According to a report released last week, “Taking Action: Higher Education and Student Debt,” California has more people with federal student debt than any other state in the nation—just over 4 million student loans valued at $103.42 million. Many of these college graduates are struggling to balance their current living needs with repaying this debt.

Mayor details strategies for economic development

Calls South L.A. the ‘heart’ of the city

Vowing to ensure that the future of economic development in Los Angeles comes to South L.A. and not through it, Mayor Eric Garcetti Tuesday laid out plans he said will help preserve and bring business to the community.

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Making sweet sounds of music

Local programs nurture next generation of musicians

When Hannah Innis was in second grade her parents, Rodney and Karen, asked her public school if she could join the orchestra. To their disappointment, they found out that the earliest their talented cellist could be part of the orchestra was third grade. This experience reminded the Los Angeles couple that the public school music programs at their childrens’ schools were not very aggressive.

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Summer offerings increase at schools

School is out and selected students at local public campuses have an opportunity to attend summer session.

Garcetti to speak at upcoming meeting

Chamber to pose questions for mayor

Mayor Eric Garcetti will be the keynote speaker at the June 17 general luncheon membership meeting of the Crenshaw Chamber of Commerce, and the public is invited to ask their questions about business concerns.

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Crenshaw Chambers solicits questions for mayor

Garcetti to speak at upcoming meeting

Mayor Eric Garcetti will be the keynote speaker at the June 17 general luncheon membership meeting of the Crenshaw Chamber of Commerce, and the public is invited to ask their questions about business concerns.

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Maya Angelou succumbs

She was 86

Although she was primarily noted in contemporary times for her poetry, novels and acting, Maya Angelou had a celebrated background in the arts that began when it was difficult for an African American woman to truly count on making a living as a creative artist.

Superintendent of Public Instruction: Addressing needs of educational system

The Superintendent of Public Instruction is responsible for carrying out the rules set by the state Board of Education, as well as those dictated by the education code. The person holding this office is responsible for both public and private schools. The individual also acts as the state’s representative at the federal level, and is charged with addressing the financial and academic needs of students, schools and school districts.

School board chooses special election

Seeks a June 3 date

Despite listening to three hours of testimony from more than 100 speakers, the Los Angeles School Board voted Tuesday to hold a special election to replace member Marguerite LaMotte.

LAUSD delays decision on District 1

Will discuss options Jan. 7

After hearing the wishes and requests of a parade of speakers, including elected officials such as Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and former state assemblyman Mike Davis, the Los Angeles Unified School (LAUSD) Board voted Tuesday to delay making a decision about how to fill seat left vacant with the death of Marguerite LaMotte.

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Sebastian Ridley-Thomas headed to state captial

Easily defeats opponents

In the 54th Assembly District race, 26-year-old Sebastian Ridley-Thomas handily defeated his rivals to win the right to represent voters in the state government.

Black parent groups voice concerns

Seek more attention for African American students’ needs

Against a backdrop of achievement numbers that leave no one in doubt that African American students in California and the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) are struggling, a coalition of Black parent groups and educational activists met recently at the Baldwin Hills Library to air their concerns about what is happening to their children in the state’s public education system and to recommend actions to begin changing the situation.

Diverse is watch word in 54th Assembly District

Candidates reflect that as well

The three candidates running for office to complete the unexpired term left in the 54th Assembly District when Holly Mitchell was elected to the State Senate are much like the district itself—a diverse collection of individuals.

October job numbers remain basically unchanged

Employers bullish on hiring

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released its monthly employment report, and although the economy added 204,000 nonfarm payroll jobs in October, the overall unemployment rate remained basically the same, up to 7.3 percent in October from 7.2 the month before.

Metro summit targeted small firms

Procurement opportunities featured

The Metropolitan Transit Authority (METRO) held its first-ever Small Business Opportunity Summit Monday at the California African American Museum (CAAM) and about 300 people turned out for the event, which was designed to help entrepreneurs connect with agency executives responsible for contracting and procurement as well the contractor selected to construct the Crenshaw/LAX light rail.

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Students of color policed more heavily

Even elementary pupils ticketed

In a report released Wednesday during a student/community rally and street theatrical performance, The Labor/Conmmunity Strategy Center Community Rights Campaign found that despite an 80 percent reduction in truancy ticketing since February 2012 and as much as a 50 percent drop in school police ticketing across all categories, African American students are still almost six times as likely as White pupils in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) to receive tickets.

Economic forecast highlights South Los Angeles

Comprehensive plan needed

Driving through communities like Chinatown and Little Tokyo, Forescee Hogan-Rowles used to wonder why it wasn’t happening in South Los Angeles. She also asked why they weren’t doing anything to make it happen.

Young people benefit from Obamacare

Low-cost plan available

The 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, (Obamacare) which goes into effect January 2014 and began enrolling people on Oct. 1, has a number of provisions that specifically speak to the health needs of adolescents and young adults.

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CAAM gala helps fund the future

L.A. legend, Carmen De Lavallade, among honorees

As executive director of the California African American Museum (CAAM), Charmaine Jefferson knows that how much money the partially state-funded cultural facility raises Saturday during its annual gala will depend in great measure on how artfully she can coax donors to part with their hard-earned dollars and put them into the museum’s coffer.

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Arts icon, Cecil Fergerson, succumbs

Demanded decades of recognition for people of color

Every July, the Black arts community found itself at the center of a big bash celebrating the birthday of a man some called the “Godfather” of L.A.’s African American arts community.

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Ralphs set to invest in local store

Planning for remodel of Manchester/Western location in motion

More than 30 leaders and members of neighborhood councils, block clubs and other community groups met Saturday with representatives from the Ralphs grocery chain to express concern about the future of some of the remaining stores in South Los Angeles.

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Mental illness is a family issue

Blacks need to push past the stigma

The actions of former Naval reservist Aaron Alexis, who killed 12 people and wounded eight others at a Washington, D.C. naval base Tuesday, once again turns a spotlight on mental illness in the Black community.

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Black unemployment inches up

National numbers remain steady at 7.3 percent

Despite a Bureau of Labor Statistics report that the national unemployment rate remained basically the same, (at 7.3 percent for August compared to 7.4 in July) and that 169,000 non-farm, private sector jobs were added to the economy, the percentage of African Americans participating in the civilian labor force slipped overall from 61.4 percent in July to 60.8 percent in August.

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Los Angeles reflects on March on Washington

Progess made, more work to do

As America marks the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, there is one fact that cannot be disputed—there has been progress in the last five decades.

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W.E.B. Du Bois’ death is forever tied to the march

He died the night before in Ghana

William Edward Burghardt “W. E. B.” Du Bois, a sociologist, historian, civil rights activist, Pan-Africanist, author and editor died the night before the historic march on Washington, and this year marks also the 50th anniversary of his death.

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‘The Butler’ tops first-week release numbers

One of the eight top-grossing contemporary Black films

“Lee Daniels’ The Butler” grossed $25 million at the box office during the first weekend release. Ticket sales topped the projected $15 million take, and put the flick well ahead of all the first releases for the weekend—$13.6 million for “Kick Ass 2” and $6.7 million for “JOBS.”

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Concert will honor guitarist Kenny Burrell pg.14

Decades-long career encompassed diverse musical genres

Mere weeks after releasing his latest album “Dream Weaver,” and a little more than a year after the death of his wife, Corine, veteran jazz musician George Duke died Monday at St. John’s hospital in Los Angeles. Private funeral services are planned.

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Compton’s Jr. Posse rides in on a good horse story

Equestrian program inspires feature film

In families, siblings often support one another without question. That was definitely the case with Michele Ervin and her younger sister Sheila McKinnon.

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Turner Construction to prequalify subcontractors

Information session planned for Aug. 13

Turner Construction will hold a prequalification information session for people looking to subcontract on the $650 million Wilshire Grand Hotel Project. The meeting will be held Aug. 13 from 4-6 p.m., at the Los Angeles Convention Center in West Hall, Room 502, 1201 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles. The deadline to register is today at 5 p.m.

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Trayvon Martin: his presence may be gone, but the name lingers on

Outrage, legislative acts, vigils and other events continue the conversation

The nation is still talking about the verdict in the Trayvon Martin murder trial—in songs, teach-ins, panel discussions and legislative proposals. In Congress, Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) introduced the End Racial Profiling Act Tuesday alongside longtime supporter Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., who is sponsoring the Senate version of the bill.

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President lays out strategy for more middle-class jobs

Rebuilding infrastructure, simplifying tax code and more cited

Speaking in an address that lasted just a little more than 30 minutes before a audience at the Chattanooga, Tenn., Amazon fulfillment plant, President Barack Obama laid out what he called a framework and a national strategy “to make sure that every single person who’s willing to work hard in this county has a chance to succeed in the 21st-century economy.”

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Watts Summer Festival: ongoing effort to highlight the positive

Will honor 15-25-year-olds who continue the work

The 47th annual Watts Summer Festival is a free, two-day event that offers residents a mixture of entertainment, conversations and information.

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Does the president’s remarks help soothe pain of the Trayvon Martin case?

‘It was important … hear the president speak about this issue,’ says Congresswoman Karen Bass

In a move that appeared to respond to calls within the Black community for a comment, President Barack Obama talked about the Trayvon Martin verdict in the Friday White House daily briefing.

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Garcetti gets face-to-face with community youth

He listens to their concerns, after Trayvon Martin verdict

They are the young African American and Latino students participating in the Community Coalition (CoCo) Freedom School program, and they were on the way from their morning session to a meeting with Mayor Eric Garcetti to discuss an issue that has captivated the attention of America—the Trayvon Martin verdict.

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High Black unemployment continues 50-year trend

Urban League to launch local solutions

The Black unemployment rate for June 2013 continues at 13.7 percent, which according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics is essentially unchanged from the May 2013 rate of 13.5 percent; the April rate of 13.2 percent and the 13.3 percent rate for March.

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Mitchell makes early declaration of Senate aspirations

Going after Curren Price’s 26th District seat

Although Gov. Jerry Brown has just called for a Sept. 17 special election to fill the senate seat vacated by Curren Price, who is now a member of the Los Angeles City Council, Assemblymember Holly J. Mitchell in late May announced that she plans to run for the vacant slot.

Panel discussions offer gravity to the BET Experience

Snoop Lion, TI, Master P, ‘Lil Mama hold court

Despite the heat, more than 500 people turned out Saturday for a seminar on eliminating gun violence in urban areas.

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Leimert Park Book Fair honors the 1960s

Black Panthers, Freedom Riders tell their stories

The seventh annual Leimert Park Village Book Fair will feature a special tribute to the 1960s beginning at 10 a.m., Saturday, June 29, on the Leimert Park Vision Theatre back lot, 4318 Degnan Blvd.

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